Halton police chief says Mississauga, Milton shooting deaths shine light on illegal guns


Published September 15, 2022 at 2:01 pm

Attack, Ottawa ByWard Market Halton officers
Halton Regional Police Chief Steve Tanner said he was "shocked and appalled" after two local officers were attacked early Sunday morning in Ottawa. (Photo: Halton Regional Police)

Halton Regional Police Chief Steve Tanner says it’s time to tackle the problem of illegal guns being brought into Canada from the United States.

Speaking at this morning’s (Sept. 15) multi-jurisdictional news conference in Peel related to the deadly shooting rampage on Monday (Sept. 12) that began at a Mississauga Tim Hortons, continued on to a Milton auto repair shop and concluded with the shooting death of a suspect in Hamilton, Tanner spoke briefly about the issue of illegal guns in Canada.

He noted that while police have yet to trace the origins of the handgun used to kill Toronto Police Const. Andrew Hong, 48, and Milton business owner Shakeel Ashraf, 38, it’s known that the suspect was “obviously not a lawful gun owner.”

“Guns kill people and illegal guns kill people,” Tanner told the news conference. “And in Ontario, when it comes to crime (with) handguns, and it was a handgun used in these horrific crimes, close to 90 per cent of those handguns can and are traced back to their origin in the United States. Let’s do something about that.”

Tanner said the gun used in Monday’s rampage is in the possession of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which is probing the shooting death by Halton police of Sean Petrie, 40, of no fixed address.

He added police are awaiting information related to the origins of that handgun.

The Peel Regional Police-led news conference today provided the media and public with information on the suspect, including the official release of his name.

Petrie is believed by police to have laid in wait for and then shot and killed Hong as he ate lunch in the Meadowvale Tim Hortons in north Mississauga.

The suspect then shot and wounded a man during a carjacking across the street before making his way to Milton, where about 30 minutes later Ashraf was gunned down inside the auto repair shop he owned.

Two other men, both employees of the car repair business, were also shot. One is recovering at home while the other remains in hospital and is not expected to live, said Tanner.

The suspect then sped away and wound up in Hamilton, where the deadly confrontation with police ended the GTA-wide manhunt.

Petrie had an extensive criminal background and in 2007 was flagged as a “high risk to reoffend.”

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